Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Flood in Lunigiana and Cinque Terre

It is such a disastrous sight to see such a lovely place like Cinque Terre being damaged by a massive amount of mud, debris, and water. The little borough of Manarola got almost completely destroyed by the avalanche that slided down from the mountain into the sea. The characteristic colored houses now all lay lifeless and gray of mud. It will take time to bring them back to their life, but the dead ones, buried under meters of sludge, will never be brought back again.

Aulla in Lunigiana is just one of the Tuscan cities to have been hit by the water wall. Each passing year I hear on the Italian news that such disasters could have been avoided. Massive deforestation along bank rivers, riverbeds not being cleaned to preserve river wildlife, concrete layering, wild urbanization, and climatic changes create each year a dangerous cocktail that never fails to explode. This cocktail produces similar effects all over the world. The more the damages produced, the more the intensity of the phenomenon.

Italy is a long and thin country, surrounded by sea, dotted with lakes, wrinkled up by rivers and mountain chains. Its ecosystem is extremely fragile, and constantly menaced by human mistakes and natural disasters such as the recent one.
Scraping rivers destroys wildlife, but not doing it produces blockages bringing to these extreme consequences. How to stop this vicious cycle?

I think there is little to do, as the contemporary strategy is that of building and making money, taking great risks though. The Italian proverb "meglio un uovo oggi che una gallina domani", or better an egg today that a chicken tomorrow seems to be taken very seriously in Italy.

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